Saturday, April 30, 2011

Just an ole tshirt... Not.


trashn2tees was featured in the amazing treasury that featured all upcycled tshirts!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fresh off the Scissors

When I first started TrashN2Tees (its been a while now) I had seen similar earrings to this and I thought that they were just brilliant. Just recently I revisited the earrings and noticed that they had a price tag, mucho out of my "really cool I'd like to have" pay range. Of course I can make my own, I have tons and tons of bitty baby size scrappits that can be used up for this project (I think I can completely reuse an entire tshirt.Entirely. I'm proud of that fact) Maybe you're wondering why I've been straying a little from new tshirt designs? I'll be hitting the local streets this summer with shows and festivals and I'd like to have some other items to offer. Don't worry I'm still snipping away on tees and mama skirts too!  I kicked around the idea of selling the earrings some more... and finally went ahead and listed a pair today. What do you think?

Check in TNTees on etsy for these and more upcycled/ recycled clothing and accessories.

Happy Arbor Day!

Celebrate by planting a tree- $1. 1 Tree. 1 Planet. http://www.plantabillion.org
Find out how to RECYCLE your trees here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

From Tshirt to Pillow

a Chez Larsson Tutorial

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Cute pillow, huh?
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It started it's life as a $3 souvenir T-shirt from a street vendor i New York. It didn't get much use, Wille is not a print t-shirt kind of guy. He does like a cushy pillow to rest his head on while watching TV in bed though.
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Here's the how-to. Wille's T-shirt is a men's size x-small so I chose a 30x30 cm / 12"x12" pillow insert for it.
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To make sure it would fit I laid the T-shirt over the pillow and tested.
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Then I turned the T-shirt inside out and put the pillow inside and pinned along the sides. After I removed the pillow I continued pinning straight down towards the bottom and sewed it using a small zig zag stitch on the machine. This prevents the stretchy T-shirt fabric from puckering up and making the whole thing go all wavy on you!
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I trimmed the edges with scissors...
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... and turned the T-shirt right side out again...
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...placed the pillow insert inside...
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...and simply folded the overhanging bit in at the back of the pillow. Because the materials are cotton they don't glide and they sort of stick to each other making it stay put.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

All Tied Up! Neck Tie Reusal

I have this great friend who has access to discarded clothing through her work- sure she could toss them in the dumpster (cringe) but she doesn't. Sure, she could drop loads off at the Goodwill, but she doesn't. Instead she hauls home truck loads of clothes to upcycle and gives me a call. (thanks!!) Just a few days ago she unloaded 50 pounds of ties on me. What on this green Earth am I going to do with so many ties? Well, my first thought was to contact a fellow Etsy Upcyclers team member- TearfulTouch.  She creates these cool two pouch wristlets perfect for carrying your gadgets on the go.
TearfulTouch on Etsy

After that- well I wasn't sure what I was going to do. Here are a couple ideas, if you too have ties that are tying you up.

Guitar Strap
Needlepointers suggests turning an old necktie into a guitar strap.  They warn that this will probably only work with smaller guitars. But why not banjos or ukuleles?

Make a Bag
Craftbits has a great article on how to make a bag out of neckties.

Heres what I made today.

Coming soon to TNTees on Etsy

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Recycled Copper Wire Bracelet Tutorial


A simple copper bracelet by Doreen Kulich of Half Moon Road Designs
This bracelet uses recycled copper electrical wire. It’s very easy to make, nothing more than bending and wrapping wire. There’s a ton of potential underneath that plastic coated wire hanging on the garage wall!
Step 1 – Gather 2 pieces of electrical wire, one thin and one thick. The thick piece should be at least as thick as a piece of spaghetti. The thickness (or gauge) of the bracelet is important because copper is a soft metal and if it’s too thin, it’ll get banged up easily and loose its shape. The thin piece is mostly ornamental. It should be thin enough to wrap around the thick wire.
Step2 – Slice the plastic covering off the wire. Lay the wire on a flat surface. Using a sharp knife, slice about an inch from the far end pushing away from you…like peeling a cucumber.
Step3 – Peel the plastic from the wire.
Step4 – The length of the thick wire I’m using is approx. 10 inches, but you can certainly use longer pieces for a slightly different look. The thin wire can be any length from 4-5 inches long. To cut wire, use a pair of needle nose pliers; most of them have a cutting adapter at the base of the “nose”.  
Step5 – Shape the thick piece of wire into a circle by wrapping around a solid object the approx. size of the bangle you need with about an inch overlap on each side. I’m using an old pipe. I’ve also used a baseball bat, a metal fence post, and an old metal flashlight to shape the bracelet. It needs to be solid because the next step is….
Step6 – Hammer the bracelet. Copper is soft and becomes firm (hardened) by bending or hammering. I use a rawhide mallet which basically means I can whack the heck out of it without it marking the copper. If you use a metal hammer gently tap the wire around the outside edge completely, going around at least twice. Hammering is like “starch” for metal.  This will help the wire retain its shape.
Step7 – Wrap the thin wire around the bracelet, starting in the middle where the two ends overlap. Bend the thin wire in half. Insert one piece of wire between the bracelet wires at the middle of the overlap. The thin wire should make a “V” with one of the thick wires sitting in the bottom of the “V”. Wrap one wire towards you going around and around both thick wires. Wrap the other side away from you the same way.
Step8 – Hammer the very ends of the overlapped thick wire. Pull them gently in opposite directions and place the end on a metal surface. Hammer the tips flat. This keeps the “wrapped” wire from “walking” around the bracelet. It also adds to the design.


Step9 – You’re done! If you want to keep your bracelet shiny you can use lemon juice or vinegar on a cotton ball. The acid cleans the oxidation. Heck, you can even use ketchup…but who wants to smell like a hamburger all day? 

You can find more items made by Doreen at Half Moon Road Designs on Etsy

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fresh off the Scissors

Celebrate mom this Mothers Day (or everyday!) with this Mom Power upcycled tshirt by Trashn2Tees. Each shirt is made using 100% reclaimed materials and by rockin recycled threads I hope we can encourage and inspire others to consume less and recycle more.

A mom of 2 myself, I love to wear my tshirt proudly- its a badge of honor (along with those stretch marks- this is one I don't mind sharing with the world!) Its great to wear with jeans, or here (in the pictures) I have it matched up with a funky floral skirt.

I do offer custom orders for Mom Power tees: Mom squared (for 2 kids), mom cubed (for 3 kids), mom to the 4th power (for 4 kids) etc. If there is not active listing, just convo me and we can set one up. 

http://www.etsy.com/listing/72794544/mom-squared-retro-ringer-tshirt-upcycled

Saturday, April 23, 2011

10 Ways to Reuse Plastic Eggs

Kara asks, "What can I do with these?"

1. I have limited storage space, so today I unloaded all of my eggs with a friend. (We hold annual egg hunts there for the boys so they'll be reused next year)
2. Try a Dinosaur Excavation eggs for a fun project and you can reuse your coffee for this project too! 
3. Give those little bitty small parts to board games(like Monopoly pieces: shoe, horse, etc.) a new egg home. Keeps them from getting lost.
4. Pack around some thread and a needle in one for a travel sewing kit.
5. Classroom & Party games! Use for color scavenger hunts, egg/spoon races, guess whats inside 
6. Noise makers/Rattles- Fill w/ beans, rice, or sand and glue or tape the egg shut. Or both. 
7. Stuff with potpourri and use as an air freshener. Either puncture holes in eggs or use eggs that already have small holes.
 9. Donate them to a church or community organization who hold annual hunts. 
10. Store craft beads snaps, buttons, or ribbon. Keep organized by color.
11. Keep necklaces from getting tangled by placing one in an egg. Great for travel!

Do you have a clever way you like to reuse your plastic eggs? Share it!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Waste Not Recycle Art: Earth Day Giveaway



This one picture shares with you 2 of my favorite things. Well 5 total: the picture, the blocks, and the 3 most important men in my life.  The framed picture was taken when T was just 3 weeks old, and S was holding his hand, just below that you'll see some of my favorite pictures spelling out "Faust" (last name) The blocks were made by an amazing artist and someone I've come to call a friend. I'm excited to share with you this candid interview w/ Mandy from Waste Not Recycled Art as she shares her story, and offers up some advice! Shes had over 2100 sales on Etsy!  Also in honor of Earth Day and our Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, RECREATE Webbernet Event she is giving you a chance to win 6 of your very own personalized photo blocks! What started as simply using left over scraps from construction projects, has led to using other people's scraps, home improvement store rejects and recycling "garbage", that no one has seen the value in. I make use of reclaimed wood, antique & distressed items, turning them into ART & HOME DECOR! Happy Earth Day!


How did you get started/learn your craft?
I've been interested in art my WHOLE life.  My parents and grandparents were very supportive... especially my Great Grandmother Eve (whom my daughter is named after).  Grandma Eva would bring me to Fay's (local pharmacy that's gone now), and let me wander around in the school supplies aisle... yup, that's right... I didn't want toys, I wanted markers and cool paper!  My folks even bought me the BIG set of Crayolas- with the sharpener on the back- so I was AWESOME!

I took art classes in school, and went to the technical school for art in high school.  I had the best teachers and learned so many different things.  I went to college for Graphic Art... but I mostly learned how to party there.  LOL  I married young and had babies, but still pursued my dream... baby steps.  My big break was when I worked as a receptionist in Florida (HATED it!), and the art studio offered me a job painting tacky furniture store decor for $7 an hour!  I was fired from my wonderful job that day, when I told them that it wasn't my job to clean the kitchen.... BOO HOO!

Since then, I've worked my way up to murals, design, and actually fulfilled my bigger dreams.  I worked on jobs for Disney, Universal Studios, and even got to design a whole section of the Palm Beach Zoo.  Life was good, but my family ties were calling me home.

I moved back home to upstate NY about 8 years ago with some great projects under my belt, and quite a portfolio.  It took a while to get started here, but I created my own company, and now I am busy BUSY!!  My Etsy store was my side business, while I did murals, faux finishing, and remodeling.

Waste Not Recycled Art was born in the middle of the night... I literally got up and wrote down my ideas, so I wouldn't forget everything by morning!  I had several pictures of my kids, on my dresser, and I looked at them for weeks trying to think of a great way to display them.  My first set of blocks spelled MEMORIES, and I only made them for me.  Then my Mom wanted some, and my friend... and it grew quickly!  I first listed them on eBay, and a customer recommended that I check out Etsy.  And the rest is history!  2100 sales later, and this is my full time gig!  I still do murals on occasion, but I am so busy with the blocks, that my fiance is cutting down his hours at his "real" job, and we have several people helping with production!  Life is VERY good.


If someone were to interview you for a news article, what would your headline be? 
Local Artist Expands Business: UpCycled Art and Home Decor
OR
The Art of Dumpster Diving!

You've reached 2100 sales on Etsy, do you have any advice or wisdom you'd like to share?
(2197 as of April 21st!) RESEARCH. Take the time to find out who likes your items, when they're shopping, what search words they use.  Be descriptive and promote items in several categories. AND the key to Etsy is BRIDES and BABIES!  If you can promote your items in those categories, it will bring people in to think of other reasons why they would need your product. And finally RE-LIST a few items every day.  I found a FANTASTIC site for help in re-listing:
Uncle Gravy's Renewing Agent
http://www.mudstuffingindustries.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64&Itemid=69
you can set up your account to re-list items when the volume of viewers in your category reaches a certain number... i.e. it will automatically re-list an item of my choosing, when there are 200 people viewing the holiday category. SO it re-lists when Etsy is busy, but doesn't waste my money when no one is looking!  GENIUS!
How do you love the Earth? (Ex. I cloth diaper, recycle, kayak, passionate about educating others etc)
I recycle everything.  Sometimes we don't even have a bag to put out for our garbage pick up!  We spend a lot of time outdoors- when it's not freezing out there- we love sitting around the campfire, planting flowers, and watching the wildlife.  Our property boarders the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge- so we have a lot of animals around us- especially deer.  And we just saw a litter of fox... CUTE little guys!

Where can we find you? (Etsy/Web/Blog/Etc)
Etsy:
http://www.mleefipps.etsy.com/
my mural site:
http://www.wastenotrecycledart.com/
and on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Waste-Not-Recycled-Art/192289972480?ref=ts

Mothers Day Prayer Block
You work in construction?! And you paint murals? Tell me more!
I think I answered this a bit in my first "getting started" answer... but yes- I work in construction.  I Can build a house from the ground up- and we're working on our 1000 sq. ft. addition now. Framing, electrical and plumbing, insulating, roof, siding, drywall... and then MY FAVORITE PART... interior design!  The boys' common room has an industrial look (or that's the plan if we EVER get to the fun part- LOL) corrugated metal ceiling (recovered barn roof), graffiti murals, barn wood trim, and wood floors.  I love making unique spaces for them.  My younger boy will have a room similar to what they had in our old house- a tree fort. I've made trees for various jobs- including the redwood trees in the E.T. exhibit at Universal Studios, a restaurant, veterinarian's office and the school library.

I can't wait to do my studio too: I'm using the wood from railroad ties, sliced into squares to tile the floor, my old distressed kitchen cabinets with a tree slab as the counter and glass tile back splash made from recycled bottles.  AND I've been saving my wine corks to slice up (round) to make my idea wall cork board.  It will have a barn wood ceiling and trim (of course) and cork pendants for lighting. I CAN NOT WAIT TO GET TO ALL OF THIS!  <3


Doesnt that sound amazing!?  Mandy's blocks make amazing gifts for Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Graduation, Weddings, New Families, and so much more! Comment below and tell me what you'd spell out with your blocks- 
Extra Entries for: (up to 5 entries total)
Follow Waste Not Recycled Art on Facebook 
Heart Waste Not Recycled Art on Etsy
Follow TrashN2Tees on Facebook 
Sharing the giveaway on Facebook or Twitter (2 Entries each
Follow TrashN2Tees.blog (right side bar) 


<<<THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED>>>

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Now we're melting plastic bags.

boydhollow on etsy
I've been wanting to try this for a while.. but alas there are not enough hours in the day for all of my wishful crafting endeavors. Go now and turn simple plastic grocery bags into tote bags and wallets—by fusing them together with an iron. Melt on fellow DIY'er and Recyclers. I'll live vicariously through you on this one.
lousupcycles on etsy

How to:
Cut, flatten and layer six to eight bags on the ironing board, place parchment paper over them, and iron the whole stack to meld it into a useful, reusable thicker plastic for sewing together every which way. Theres no wrong way to craft, but I've included some awesome Etsy finds in this post.  Don't forget you can also crochet grocery bags, too.

Long Overdue Fusing Plastic Bag Tutorial from EtsyLabs

So what do you think? Are you going to arm yourself w/ iron and try it? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brown Paper Bag Envelopes: DIY and a Coupon!


 I've got this stack of brown paper bags, sometimes I dont bring enough reusable bags to the store (sometimes I completely forget) so I have a small collection of brown paper bags. I always opt for paper instead of plastic. I use the bags to make envelopes (duh thats what we're talking about here) but we also use them for finger painting and other art projects around the house.

 Start with your bag. Cut along the creases to give you 2 larger (front/back) slabs of paper along with 2 narrow (sides) slabs.
 This is what it should look like after you've cut out the sides. Cut along the bottom to give you (3) additional pieces.
 Heres a big side slab that we're about to transform into an eco envelope.
 Fold the slab leaving approx. 1.5 inches on one side which will later be taped down to seal the envelope.
 Cut along the dotted lines. (What? Your envelope bag didnt come with dotted lines?) Eh- Lets say about 1.5 inches in. Theres no wrong way to craft. If you want to cut it 3.4 inches have at it!
 Does your slab look like this now? It should.
 Follow the instructions provided in the picture. Let dry.
 And there you have your repurposed brown paper bag envelope. Using the basic design you can create custom size envelopes to fit your needs.

terbearco on etsy
terbear collectibles on Etsy offers some great recycling themed stamps like this one that says, "Reuse, Reduce, Recycle I use recycle packaging" They're extending a 10% discount to all of my Earth Day Webbernet readers using code: trashn2tees


All my packages go out dawned with a handwritten recycled box card and tshirt bow- I think that the presentation of your package says a lot about your style and your business. As a buyer, what type of packaging has really stood out in your experience? Sellers, do you add a personal touch to your buyers experience- how? I'd love to hear from you-

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